It’s evening and I’m looking over the last of the sushi at a high-end grocery store.  It doesn’t look great.  The employee behind the counter is attending to other things other than me and soon vanishes through swinging doors that take him away.

I, his customer, vanish, too, and go in search of something else to eat.

But it’s sushi that I want.  When I circle back a few minutes later, he has emerged.  Is it possible to make a sushi roll or is it too late, I politely ask?

The store is open for three more hours, but he is not.  He tells me that he leaves at 7pm.

I glance down at my watch.  He is right and right on time.

It is exactly 7pm.

Contrast that with my experience yesterday.

My car has a problem that my mechanic, David, someone who I’ve written about before, does not know how to fix.

Or rather, this is a problem for which there is no good fix.  Not from the car’s manufacturer, who purports to provide a solution.  Not from anywhere.  I know this because David has told me.

But he’s been noodling it, and wants to try something.

So I bring him the car.  And unlike making a sushi roll, this effort will take his day.  Despite this, he refuses to charge me.  Even when I insist.

I am not special; this is how David treats his customers.  Whenever I’m there, I witness generations – literally – of customers who bring him their cars.

A couple of questions:

Are the customer-facing members of your organization behaving like David?  Or the sushi guy?

Do you know?


For more on working with me directly to drive business outcomes, you can reach me at:  My next openings are in July.